The NFL regular season is over and that means one thing - it's award time. Inspired by Philadelphia Eagles back up tackle Winston Justice's horrific performance against the Giants early in the year, we started tracking some of the most miserable players in pro football. To be eligible to be on the list, players had to have seen significant playing time, which is why Justice (or Ron Mexico) isn't on the final list.
We know the anticipation is killing you, so let's get to the list.
5. Shaun Alexander, Running Back, Seattle Seahawks. Since the Seahawks made the playoffs, its hard to argue that Alexander killed his team, but what isn't hard to argue is that Alexander is a shell of his former self. Injuries and age have slowed the former pro bowler, who only averaged 3.5 yards per carry this year. NFL running backs age worse than porn stars, so its no coincidence that Shaun turned 30 this year.
4. Jason David, Cornerback, New Orleans Saints. The Saints made it to the NFC championship game last year and came into this season with very high expectations. The only thing that turned out to be high were opposing team's quarterback ratings. The Saints were 30th in passing yards allowed and Mr. David played a large role in that ineptitude. New Orleans will be watching the playoffs on TV and we get to make jokes about Jason David and burnt toast. Let's just say this wasn't the best free agent signing of the year.
3. Cedric Benson, Running Back, Chicago Bears. The Bears went into the season with two quarterbacks who were more shaky than Courtney Love's hands after a week long bender. The solution should have been a strong defense and a good running game. Injuries wiped out the defense (what are Mike Brown's ligaments made out of twizzlers?) and Benson was terrible. He averaged 3.4 yards per carry, had more than 100 yards just once and managed to lose 2 fumbles. It's a good thing they traded Thomas Jones away so Benson could be the feature back, but if you ask him, he doesn't have anything to prove.
2. Jevon Kearse, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles. Once known as the freak, the only freakish thing about him this year was a stunning ability to NOT make plays. Kearse totalled 3.5 sacks and 12 tackles (that is not a typo) this year, eventually losing his starting spot to Juqua Thomas. The Eagles defense struggled to force turnovers and in a season of close losses, a few more plays out of Kearse could have made a difference.
AND YOUR WINNER OF THE 2007 LEAST VALUABLE PLAYER
1. Alex Smith, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers. This was supposed to the year the 49ers got back to the playoffs. Lead by Frank Gore and a developing Smith, the offense was supposed to be efficient and the defense good enough to challenge the Seahawks in the NFC West - except it didn't turn out that way. Injured for most of the year, when he was on the field the results weren't pretty. Smith's passer rating this year was 57.2 and he threw a grand total of 2 touchdowns passes in 193 attempts the whole season. To put that in perspective, their third stringer, a guy named "Shaun Hill" threw 5 tds in just 79 attempts. Smith is still young and could develop, but he's looking more like Joey Harrington than Peyton Manning right now. Congrats Alex, T3I hope you enjoy this prestigious award - we'll be sending your trophy out in the mail, look for a dirty sweat sock to appear in 5-7 business days.